Trust Your Instruments. Trust God.

One can get easily disoriented at night. Pilots trust their instruments. We can trust God.

“Trust your instruments”

About 30 years ago I was a pilot.  A student pilot really.  While I had enough flight hours to get my license, college got in the way and I never obtained the ticket.  But I did get to experience many cool things most pilots experience at least one time or another. Soloing.  Taking off and landing in front of, and behind, jumbo jets in a little single engine prop.  Stalling. Flying without power.  And even vertigo.

Yep, I was flying with my instructor on a night-time cross country flight just south of Indianapolis.  My head was buried in the dimly lit cockpit studying the sectional maps.  I looked up quickly to check my bearings and saw the bright red flashing lights of a TV tower.  It suddenly felt like we were heading in a nose down position racing toward what I thought were runway lights.  I panicked. “Helen!” I screamed at my instructor, “We’re going down!”

Cool headed  Helen told me to look at my instruments and to trust my instruments.  Meticulously, but quickly, she took me from left to right across the instrument panel.

“Airspeed?”

“110 knots,” I replied with great fear.

“Trust your instruments. Attitude?”

“Straight and level,” I said with some surprise.

“Altimeter?”

“3700 feet,” I answered looking out the window still seeing the red lights that were no longer there.  “Helen!”

“Trust your instruments.  Vertical Speed?”

“Zero.”

“Zero. So we’re not going up or down? See? Trust your instruments.”

Something about hearing that phrase for the third time. It was then that I snapped out of the vertigo experience.

Continue reading “Trust Your Instruments. Trust God.”

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We need a Comforter because we need to be comforted

Sometimes our world can be rocked like wind blowing against a dandelion where it feels like nothing of our life is left except the stem.

Have you ever picked up the phone only to have someone on the other end give you some “rock your world” news?  Perhaps it was news of an accident… a medical report… a death… an arrest… a confession…

In that single instant your world was shattered like a gust of wind against a dandelion where it feels like there’s nothing left except the stem.  It happens to most of us, if not all of us, at one time or another.  And, what did you do?  Panic? Cry?  Punch your fist at God?  Did you ask, “I’m a Christian, for goodness sake… how did God let this happen to me?”

May I encourage you to remain calm in the crisis.  Maybe it is because you are a Christ-follower that this has happened to you.  I’m not saying that God causes bad things to happen, but this world is full of weeds and thorns… and you’re going to get stuck from time to time.  Yes, God’s Holy Spirit surrounds you and protects you. But the Word also says the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, is a comforter.  Now why would we need a comforter if we didn’t ever need comforting?  God knew we would all go through seasons of great crisis.  We all need to be comforted when we are in a crisis.

Is your world being turned upside down right now?  Finances in a mess?  A diagnosis in a medical report?  A spouse calling it quits?  May I encourage you to lean into the Comforter.  Wrap yourself in His arms.  Let Him hold you.  It’s going to be all right.

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Passover First, Then the Resurrection

The Christian faith heritage is Jewish because Jesus was Jewish and He is the Lamb of God.

Passover.  It’s a Jewish holiday right?  Yes… and no.  You see, it was a celebration of the Passover where Messiah Jesus met with His disciples for what has traditionally been called “The Last Supper.”

Yep, the great, intimate evening, where Jesus washed His disciples feet and shared what most Christians call “Communion” for the first time, was actually a traditional meal celebrated by the Hebrews for centuries prior to the final evening Jesus would spend with His followers before His crucifixion.

So, the “Holy Eucharist” is actually a Jewish sacrament?  Well, at its genesis, yes.  You may ask “How can that be?”

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Jesus and Passover

Our family is Christian.  I grew up in a Methodist church in Ohio, my wife in a Christian Missionary Alliance congregation in Western New York.  We love and celebrate all that Jesus is and have desired to teach our children about the “Jewishness” of Christianity.  In that spirit, we have celebrated the Jewish holidays that Jesus celebrated… Shabbat, Passover, Purim, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Tabernacles and even Hanukkah.  Tonight we will celebrate Passover with some dear friends.  Here is our family’s Haggadah, or story book, that joyfully celebrates Yeshua in the Passover Seder.   It’s a little long, but it is chock-full of rich ties to Jesus.

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Philosophy of Ministry

Have you ever been challenged to write a “philosophy of ministry?”  Recently I was asked to provide mine. 
And while I know that I have one, I’ve never put down in words.  So I prayed.  And here it is.

PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

“Hear O Israel.  The Lord our God, the Lord is One!  You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your strength.”  This is the Shema, the call from Moses in Deuteronomy 6:45. 
Jesus took this to the next level when asked by the pharisees about the greatest commandment by adding
“Love you neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22, Mark 12 and Luke 10).

It is with this conviction that my philosophy of ministry resonates.

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